If you’re planning on moving to—or even just visiting—the Big Island, there are a few things you’ll want to know before you settle on a location. While you may expect that you can enjoy a sunny, tropical climate no matter where you are, you’d be surprised to know that weather can vary significantly from one city to another. There are eight different climate zones on the island so depending on where you are, you could experience the humid air and warm sunshine you expected, or you could be under cloud-covered skies enduring heavy showers almost every afternoon. Here is the low down on what kind of weather you can generally expect in a few of the most popular areas on the Big Island:

Hilo and Waimea

The trade winds blow from the Northeast to the Southeast of the island meaning that Hilo and Waimea experience a majority of the rainfall coming in from the ocean. If you’re looking to vacation in or move to this area, be prepared for a yearly average of 126.69 inches of rain (compared to the average high of 63.7 inches in the continental U.S.). You’ll certainly experience some beautiful sites on this side of the island as well as the famously, always-warm Hawaiian temperatures, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your raincoat and umbrella ready for when the storms roll in.


On the Kona side, you’ll find similarly-pleasant temperatures that average between 68 degrees and 80 degrees—even in February. In the summer months, the average low is 75 degrees and temps never rise above 90. Kona doesn’t get the nearly the amount of rainfall that Hilo does yet the nearly constant flow of fresh air off the ocean still manages to keep the heat at bay during the warmer seasons. On occasion, the Kona Winds have been known to bring storms when a low-pressure center is within 500 miles on the Southwestern side of the island. While the cyclone-like weather can be intense, it typically only lasts a day or so and then it’s back to the sunny skies Kona is famous for.


Waikoloa, a beautiful area on the Northeast side of the island, has some incredible beach-front property, gorgeous resort hotels, and expansive black sand beaches. If you choose to vacation or live in this area of the island, you can expect very little rainfall (it has an average of only 10 inches a year) and arid, desert-like heat. Waikoloa sits below the saddle of Mauna Kea and Kohala and the trade winds flow through the funnel which means there are days with very strong winds. If you’re looking to stay or live in the area, be aware that it could be windy and either take a day trip to a neighboring area or pack your kite and make the most of it.

While every area on the Big Island has its merits, people coming to live or vacation here should be aware of  weather changes from one place to another. These are just a few of the popular locations so if you have a particular area you would like to know more about, please send us an email. We are always happy to help answer your questions and help you find the location that fits your needs.

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